New York City Food Tour #9: The Japanese of Manhattan — Little Tokyo in the East Village

 

IMG_1172.JPGYou’ve heard of Chinatown – Little Italy – but what about Little Tokyo?

I was unaware of the vibrant presence of – until I went back with my friend, foodie compatriot & she told me that 10 years ago, what is now a hub for tattoo shops and synonymous with college students was mostly known as being (a) Little Tokyo.

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At a second glance, it’s still there! But perhaps in a very Japanese paradox — of simplicity, zen, and minimalism in juxtaposition to vibrant city lights, video games, and lots of sound — Little Tokyo in Manhattan is on the minimalist end of the spectrum, disguised by the omnipresent dynamism that is the East Village.

I went back a few days ago just to really take a look, on the ground level and above to discover some of the remnants of Japan in the East Village. Here they are!

PLACES OF INTEREST: 

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Photo Courtesy of my Friend and Foodie, Elle

Restaurants:

Ramen Takumi – for ramen, of course

Yakitori Taisho – good for yakitori — Japanese skewers

Cocoron — for soba

Fukurou– really feels like Japan. Great ambience. They have avocado tofu!

Village Yokocho – open kitchen – also holds the doors to the Angel Share speakeasy vvv

Masa – Columbus Circle – 3*** Michelin chef; go here for a very very important date, or a super-mega tread to yourself; imported Japanese stones to absorb sound and smell; have a less expensive bar menu outside of the sushi dinner option

Bars/Speakeasies: 

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Angel’s Share — inside Yokocho, (to the left once you go up the stairs) — it has incredibly seasonal and well-tested cocktails, including a vast list of Japanese whiskies

Yopparai – speakeasy – have to press a buzzer and then be ushered into the bar

Kopi  Kopi – on West 3rd street — speakeasy ramen bar behind an Indonesian coffee bar

Miscellaneous: 

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Pearl River Mart – Soho- for Japanese tea and other commodities

Muji – Soho, Times Square – for Japanese stationery, house wear, and some apparel — love their humidifiers! (Sometimes, I go there just for that and to sit on their beanies)

Jupioca — JUICES + SMOOTHIES near school w/ tapioca

Sunrise Mart – for all-things Japanese food and beyond

Nolita Mart – have good donuts + Japanese-style coffee

Japan Day in Central Park soon!

Cha-an – Teahouse and Japanese desire place

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